Win a copy of The Tourist Trail this week in the Writing forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

Beaver pond inspired swales?

 
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey all so we are currently in the process of attempting to build a small food forest like garden plot, 30ftx45ft,  in our backyard and I am having difficulties keeping things moist and I am trying to avoid using our county water because of very high hardness and I assume alkalinity. We do not currently have rain barrels and the like due to budget and space issues.

I made some very small swales 4 to 6 in depth and they have helped control washout quite a bit. I also have a bunch of branches around 6 to 12 in diameter that came with a load of free wood chips and I'm thinking of putting in beaver dam inspired swales. Basically just lay them out on contour on the surface then berm our heavy clay on either side to help  get water to stay and soak.

I may try to establish native dandelion, chicory and clover on the berm portion in order to fix the soil. Just wanted to know if you guys see any major problems with this plan or suggestions for improvements. My hope is to get started on it this weekend.
 
gardener
Posts: 1307
Location: mountains of Tennessee
399
cattle chicken bee homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That technique has worked well for me. Took it a bit further this year. These are pix of one of several made late this winter. I laid out a 4 foot wide section of half decayed wood on contour then added about a foot of leaves & quality soil layered on top. Small trench on the uphill side. It was quick & easy except for carrying all that wood & soil up a steep hill. It has done an excellent job of retaining water & preventing runoff. More wood & soil will likely be added late this fall so it will be even more hugely.

For what it's worth there is about 20 tomatoes, 20 squash & melons, various peppers, & a few celery growing on this one now. A part that is out of view is full of okra, black eyed peas, & more melons. Another one has corn, pumpkins, & more squash & melons. All doing great with no irrigation except for daily doses of, um, let's call it personal nitrogen supplements for the corn.
lower-berm-begin.jpg
[Thumbnail for lower-berm-begin.jpg]
lower-berm-now.jpg
[Thumbnail for lower-berm-now.jpg]
lower-berm-with-soil.jpg
[Thumbnail for lower-berm-with-soil.jpg]
 
What a show! What atmosphere! What fun! What a tiny ad!
Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
https://permies.com/wiki/105944/Native-Bee-Guide-Crown-Bees
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!